Determining “what to teach” young children is influenced by district, agency, state, and federal early learning standards. One strategy teams can employ to manage “what to teach” young children is to identify the Big Ideas underlying the 100s of indicators, standards, and outcomes that teachers and providers are expected to target.
Big Ideas present a way to think about outcomes for learning that show the connection between isolated facts, figures, and skills. In general, Big Ideas promote the integration of knowledge and skills, and lead to deeper learning.
In 2005, an initial set of 25 Big Ideas were developed to consolidate and align indicators from Ohio’s Early Learning Standards with early childhood curricula. The 25 Big Ideas represented broad concepts and skills covering content from subject areas (e.g., Language Arts, Mathematics) and developmental domains (e.g., Social, Adaptive). A revision of Big Ideas was undertaken in 2013 and again in 2018, resulting in The Big Ideas for Early Learning: Glossary™.
The 32 page glossary now contains five (5) Knowledge Big Ideas and 11 Process Big Ideas:
- The Knowledge Big Ideas represent what young children should know related to factual information, concepts, and terms.
- The Process Big Ideas represent ways of acting upon and using knowledge.
Specially, the Big Ideas for Early Learning™: Glossary contains a definition of each Big Idea, additional definitions of components of the Big Idea, and examples of how children demonstrate the Big Idea using multiple means of expression. The examples are designed to illustrate the multitude of formats children can use for (a) responding; (b) interacting; (c) using resources, toys, and materials; (d) conveying meaning; and (e) expressing ideas, feelings, and preferences.
Click here for a sample from the Glossary.
Click here to listen to a podcast about how the BIEL can be used as part of your scope and sequence.
All proceeds from the sales are donated to various early childhood programs, causes, and/or charities. Contact Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontcak to know which charity is currently being supported.
If you are interested in doing your own alignment with the BIEL Glossary – click here for a framework, which begins on page 17 of the toolkit.
Click here to see how Ohio has used the BIEL to align to state standards and the requirement for a written, adopted Pre-K curriculum.